Archive for July, 2008

Big Race Over.

July 28, 2008

 

Another Superweek has come and gone, and Team Mack put 3 guys in the top 10, with Clark Priebe, Robert Kron, and Mark McGeen keeping it up for a superweek! Mark took today’s stage in Whitefish Bay, which may have been the same stage he took last year…and I think these same two guys were on the podium with him….

and…..ALEX VOITIK WINS SUPERWEEK!!!! Wow. Alex was scrapping in every stage, and managed to pull out the overall victory by a couple of points! Congratulations!

Over in the civilized world, the Tour de France concluded. The finish looked pretty much staged, since the only major team who hadn’t won a stage somehow miraculously got their shit together. Bjarne Riis was putting serious champagne in the water bottles. Cancellara would do well TT’ing back from Von Jacobs. He had several bidons, and was still thinking about going for it with 2k. Great to see Carlos Sastre finally win the tour after being so close for so long.

I’m almost ready for Elk Grove/Elgin, I guess. Today I did a hard solo around Hutchinson Creek and ran into Alan and Carol Brandenburg while I was watering up at Von Jacobs. That was a pleasant surprise!

Kookaburra: Skinny Australian turkey with an irritating voice

July 26, 2008

Looks like Cadel Evans choked! Wow! Not even that “Ridley” TT bike could help him. I’m a bit surprised, but it’s good to see Sastre finally get it.  The more Evans whines, the more I like Sastre. After losing the ITT and taking less than a half a minute out of Sastre, Evans complains that CSC has a better team…ah, it was an ITT, dude. If in the same spot, Vandevelde would have won it….

Superweek update: Alex Voitik, Former SIU standout and Team Macker, now racing for Turin is still sitting on the leader board in the Cat-3 with two races left! In the Masters hunt, Clark Priebe stands in fourth, while Robert Kron is 7th and Mark McGeen in 10th. Two races left to go!!!

Have Mercy.

July 25, 2008
Lampre Limps in Together

Lampre Limps in Together

Not surprisingly, the break held today. Markus Burghardt and Carlos Berredo did a fine job holding off a larger chase group, and then did an epic 8k match sprint! You gotta hand it to Berredo, he didn’t have any choice. It was his only chance. Didn’t work.
The big story was pretty boy Damiano Cuenego face planting in the French asphalt. Lampre sent almost half the team back, and they finished 20 minutes down and twelve from the nearest group. Still, you can’t DQ that, can you?

Hey! Wait!!!

July 23, 2008

Gee, for a stage that went over the highest paved climb in all of Europe, nothing much happened today. Well, except that VandeVelde got dropped on the climb and then crashed on the descent, and Menchov got dropped on the descent and then crashed. Nobody really seemed to attack Evans. The pace was high, but you ain’t gonna drop Evans just by maintaining a high pace. I’m not sure what’s on Bjarne’s mind. Maybe he didn’t want to give Evans a second chance, and wants to play all of the cards tomorrow. Or, maybe everyone was just at their limits.

No question though, the best moment was when young South African climber John Lee Augustyn made a viscious attack to take the last climb, then crashed spectacularly on the descent. He’d have definitely been in the top 10 if not for the crash. But what was so cool was that his bike slid down into the canyon, while a spectator pulled him back up to the tarmac. Then, just as he got his feet on the road, the Mavic Neutral Support Vehicle rolled right past him. He sat on the mountain for who knows how long before he got a bike.

Superweek!

July 21, 2008

Clark Priebe takes the first stage of Superweek!!! Robert Kron is up there in the top 10, and more racing to come! I wish I could have been there. Maybe in a few years when the baby is not. And, How About That Alex Voitik!!! Young Alex won another stage and has been a fixture in the top 10 in the cat-3 race. He was running WAY up in 1st for the overall.

In Tour news…..Oscar Pereiro didn’t die, which was something of a surprise to most of the peloton. Poor Danny Pate got outlasted by Simon Gerrans, and I’m no longer certain that Cadel Evans can hold off the ensuing clusterfuck of legitimate contenders. How about that Kohl? He’s so ugly the podium girls didn’t want to kiss him. Menchov looked really dangerous. If Evans falters, Menchov’s the guy who can hold him off in the TT.

Pantani’s Children

July 16, 2008

Tour de Fuckin’ France. First time this has happened in a while. Actual climbers, who win stages. This is Pantani’s legacy. Diminutive bike racers from throughout the world (but particularly from Italia) have been honing their skills for this moment. Ricco is the shit. I didn’t like him at first, but this year he’s not only won races, but been a true class act. Yesterday was exemplary, with Ricco sitting in to let Piepoli take the stage with Cobo. It was perfect. Next year, Ricco may be the first true climber to take the tour since Pantani.

Still, at this point, I don’t see anyone beating Evans. He not only hung on after his crash, he attacked a bit. Next week, Evans will be going well and nobody on GC will be anywhere close to his last TT. Sastre, Menchov, and Vandevelde look to be fighting for the second spot. I just can’t believe in Schleck or Kohl for the long run.  

Congrats to Young Alex Voitik, former Mack and SIU racer,  on taking Stage 1 at Superweek in the 3’s!!! Alex added a 3rd and 5th and sits on top the leader board after 4 stages!

UPDATE:

True to form, Pantani’s kids tested positive and exited the Tour. Shit. Can’t these guys get their med’s straight? How come some teams can dope to the gills and never test positive, while others get popped every time they walk into the WADA tent? Good doctors trump good riders every time. Still, some of this could be individual riders disobeying the team docs. Basso got fired from CSC for lying, not for doping. He took unapproved drugs from unapproved doctors. Maybe Ricco was slipping in a little extra, or maybe Sanier Duvall has (had) a bunch of Spanish gynecologists instead of serious sports doping doctors.

Workin’ it….

July 15, 2008

 

See what happens when your team doesn’t make the tour? Astana’s Chris Horner is schlepping for extra cash at Cascade, whoring himself out for rides to the finish. Rumour has it that Santa Claus Botero was selling snow in the parking lot, but hey, he’s on Rock Racing…

Manx Masher

July 13, 2008

 

Cavendish has crushed the only two real sprints in the tour with the authority we haven’t seen since guys like Pettachi and Cippolini were in their prime. Today, Steegmans and Quick Step had it set up perfectly. Their team did a great job, and it should have been a done deal. Cavendish shot out from four places in back of Steegmans, pulled around the lead out guy, and blasted to the line. His leadout guy, Ciolek, wound up second because he was the closest wheel to the Cavendish rocket.

Still, you get the feeling Phil and Paul don’t really like Cavendish. I mean, they wet their panties when David Millar took 3nd in the TT, but they almost ignore this guy and he’s dominated two stages. I think it’s because Cavendish is too brutish for Phil and Paul. They like more cultured guys, especially ones with a thing for older guys. It’s because Cavendish is from the Isle of Man, a place mostly known for rampant beastiality (mostly towards sheep and goats, though that makes it a bit like …..South Central Illinois….), Even if he doesn’t wind up in Green, Cavendish is the best spinter this season.

Masters’ Nat’s

July 10, 2008

Great job by a lot of guys from Team Mack over in Louisville!! Clark Priebe put on a podium performance in the crit. Mark McGeen had a bad turn of events in the finish, but was right up there at the end of the 50+. Uncle Gary has the detail:

“In the 50-54 category Mark McGeen and John Fleckenstein did a fine job at the road race with Mark coming home in 12th place and John in 38th.
In the 40-44 category Clark Priebe came in 38th.
The criterium went better for the team as Clark Priebe nailed down a fine 3rd place in the 40-44 category.
Jeff Williams represented MACK in the 45-49 which is probably one of the toughest categories with the California Amgen squad nailing the first two spots.
Mark McGeen was set up perfectly by John Fleckenstein for a medal or even the win in the 50+ event but crashed in the last turn only a few hundred meters from the line. Mark is fine just a few abrasions. John ended up 33rd and I finished 20th.”
Congrats to Russ Murphy who scored a podium slot in the 45-49 crit!! And, it was good to see Kurt Russell and Joe Walsh racing in the big show, and Dave Stone way up front! Of course, I skipped it. Managing to hang on and put in a minor bit of work at Proctor does not constitute nationals caliber form. I’m thinking Elk Grove…or maybe the Nashville Stage race….

Hinault pushes Hincapie off the Podium

July 8, 2008

Wow, big action after the stage in the Tour today. Apparently, George Hincapie was staging an individual protest against specific sponsorship requirments (George has individual contracts with several vendors, inclucing Oakley and his own firm). The Badger was having none of that whiney greedy American bullshit, and pushed Hincapie off the stage. Later, it was learned that Hincapie was not actually protesting, but just waiting for his wife, who is a podium person….